US drones kill 6 militants, injure 2 in South Waziristan

Two US drones fired four missiles at a house belonging to militant commander of Mullah Nazir group in Wacha Dana town.

Our Correspondent/afp June 03, 2012

PESHAWAR: Six militants and two others were injured when two US drones launched four missiles on a militant compound in the Birmal district, sub-division Wana in South Waziristan on Sunday, a security official said.

Four missiles were fired at the house of Malang, a local commander of the Mullah Nazir group in Wacha Dana, about 10km west of Wana near Pak-Afghan border.

“The militants had gathered for condolence of commander Malang’s brother Rehmanullah, who was killed in a US drone strike earlier on Saturday,” the official said.

“Commanders Malang and Gulam Khan were seriously injured in the attack,” said an official, adding that they were rushed to an undisclosed location by fellow militants after the strike.

Two other security officials confirmed the strikes. One intelligence officer put the toll at six dead.

Sunday’s attack in South Waziristan was the second in as many days and comes amid an upsurge in drone strikes in Pakistan since a Nato conference on Afghanistan in Chicago last month.

Washington considers Pakistan’s semi-autonomous northwestern tribal belt the main hub of Taliban and al Qaeda militants plotting attacks on the West and in Afghanistan.

Pakistani-US relations went into freefall last year.

There were hit when a CIA contractor shot dead two Pakistanis and dented further by an American raid that killed Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and by US air strikes in November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

After the air strikes, Pakistan shut its Afghan border to Nato supplies and ordered US staff out of an air base reportedly used as a hub for drones.

Seven US drone strikes have been reported since May’s Chicago summit, which failed to secure a deal on resuming the supply lines.

In March, Pakistan’s parliament agreed to reset US relations on condition that Washington apologise for the troops’ deaths and end drone attacks on its soil.

Pakistan has been incensed by Washington’s refusal to apologise for the November air strikes and US officials have so far rejected Pakistani proposals to charge several thousand dollars for each alliance truck crossing the border.

Islamabad, which is understood to have given its tacit approval for attacks on al Qaeda and Taliban targets in the past, has become increasingly vocal in its opposition to the perceived violation of national sovereignty.

Despite Pakistani criticism US officials are believed to consider the drone attacks too useful to stop them altogether. They have argued that drone strikes are a valuable weapon in the war against Islamist militants.

According to an AFP tally, 45 US missile strikes were reported in Pakistan’s tribal belt in 2009, the year US President Barack Obama took office, 101 in 2010 and 64 in 2011.

The New America Foundation think-tank in Washington says drone strikes have killed between 1,715 and 2,680 people in Pakistan in the past eight years.


Michelle Hussain | 9 years ago | Reply

""These killings are, in reality, summary executions and widely regarded as potential war crimes by international lawyers - including the UN's special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Philip Alston. The CIA's now retired counsel, John Rizzo, who authorised drone attacks, himself talked about having been involved in ''murder''. A decade ago, the US criticised Israel for such ''extrajudicial killings'' but now claims self-defence in the war against al-Qaeda. But these are attacks routinely carried out on the basis of false intelligence, in countries such as Pakistan where no war has been declared and without the consent of the elected government.""

Michelle Hussian | 9 years ago | Reply

I think drones are killing those terrorists who are determined to destroy Pakistan too ( as USA says )....BUT on the other hand if the drones are killing ONLY MILITANTS , why does USA/CIA not release the videos of these missile strikes..... because as they are remotely monitoring all the operation by video so they have video of all the operation ?????????

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